{ Danny Wilcox Frazier: “it takes everyone focusing attention” }

November 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hi, today I found a photographer from Iowa City, Iowa, who I’m pretty excited about. He did a Q&A titled “Danny Wilcox Frazier’s Ode to the American Heartland” with National Geographic, for which he also shoots.

The opening day of deer season. Kalona, Iowa. 2005, by Danny Wilcox Frazier.

There’s talk about his start, how he travels, access, poverty, and rural societies’ “deep connection to the land.” His pictures are often shaky and a little stark, but told (at least, it seems to me) with a deep affection for the people and communities he photographs.

Describing a forthcoming book that “will bring together all the places [he has] been photographing over the past decade,” Frazier says this:

I’m a small piece in this huge puzzle. It takes me, it takes other artists, it takes academics, it takes historians, it takes everyone focusing attention, and then the public will react and put pressure on, and we’ll see some kind of change. There are pockets of it all over the country, and food is a big part of that. If you look at communities where they are paying close attention to sustainability in agriculture, if they’re paying close attention to the quality of their food, if they’re paying close attention to the quality of their groundwater, those are communities where we are seeing local economies grow, we’re seeing the health of the population improve, and that’s the hope. That’s what we need, and we need other photographers and writers to highlight. We need publications to highlight that.

Go read the interview. And check out his portfolio with photos from Iowa, Detroit, the Badlands, and more. And while you’re at it, check out his Instagram. And then you might as well check out my Instagram, where I hand-deliver backroad Missouri scenes like a fully disrespected Baptist Bible Church bus. Happy December!

{ Also }

Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit, that Lincoln Steffens autobiography I’m working on, and a Harper’s columnist’s riveting criticism of one of writing’s biggest pieces of advice in his article titled, “Spare the Darling.” Blew my mind.

The Astrology Podcast, which is super technical and nerdy and I can’t understand what they’re talking about most of the time. It’s like eavesdropping on a culture I think I’m fond of and then realizing I could never be fully a part of.

Settlers of Catan: Oil Springs. Board games are fun when you’re around other people. Thanks, holidays. And thanks, WorldWatch Institute, for a thought-provoking expansion set.


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